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Global Growth Engines Idle in January

But China's manufacturers may change the plot sooner than expected
The First Data on Global Economic Activity Levels - Every Month
The only survey with current month, month-on-month, monthly year-on-year, and forward looking questions

Updated: January 23, 2023

The threat of global recession in 2023 remains evident in the January Sales Managers Survey data.

All growth related Global Indexes registered levels just above or just below the 50 "no-growth" line.

The US economic activity Indexes all fell in January, and India's growth related indexes all took a step backwards.

However the gloom was somewhat lifted by the unexpectedly rapid resurgence of the Chinese Manufacturing sector.

And this despite continuing Covid related problems impacting negatively on 55% of survey respondents.

The Chinese Sales Growth Index won the star of the month award, rising almost 4 points to a hefty 53.4 reading.

But all growth related Chinese manufacturing Indexes rose in January, in the first survey of the month results collected prior to the start of the Chinese New Year.

Chinese Manufacturing Sales Growth Index


Source: World Economics
Note: Data Shown as a Diffusion Index. (50 = 'No Change', above 50 = Increasing growth, below 50 = Declining growth)
0 0 0 Global SMI|#0A66C2|54.7, 54.6, 55.1, 54.8, 56.7, 55.9, 56.1, 54, 53.3, 52.6, 51.9, 52.6, 53.3, 52, 52.7, 53.6, 54.5, 55.3, 55.8, 56.4, 55.6, 55.8, 54.4, 56.5, 57.4, 57.3, 57.9, 55.4, 54.9, 53.7, 53.2, 54.6, 53.2, 53.3, 54.1, 54.2, 51.5, 51.2, 52.4, 51.4, 52, 51.4, 53.2, 52.2, 52.4, 53.4, 52, 50.8, 51, 45.9, 51.5, 47.6, 49.7, 51.7, 51, 51.2, 50.7, 52.9, 52.5, 54.7, 53.1, 51.2, 56.5, 53.7, 52.1, 52.7, 55.7, 57, 54.4, 54.3, 50.7, 52.4, 51.9, 54.6, 54.5, 50.9, 51.2, 51.9, 50.3, 53.3, 49.7, 49.8, 51, 49.5, 53.3 Jan 2016, Feb 2016, Mar 2016, Apr 2016, May 2016, Jun 2016, Jul 2016, Aug 2016, Sep 2016, Oct 2016, Nov 2016, Dec 2016, Jan 2017, Feb 2017, Mar 2017, Apr 2017, May 2017, Jun 2017, Jul 2017, Aug 2017, Sep 2017, Oct 2017, Nov 2017, Dec 2017, Jan 2018, Feb 2018, Mar 2018, Apr 2018, May 2018, Jun 2018, Jul 2018, Aug 2018, Sep 2018, Oct 2018, Nov 2018, Dec 2018, Jan 2019, Feb 2019, Mar 2019, Apr 2019, May 2019, Jun 2019, Jul 2019, Aug 2019, Sep 2019, Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020, Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020, Nov 2020, Dec 2020, Jan 2021, Feb 2021, Mar 2021, Apr 2021, May 2021, Jun 2021, Jul 2021, Aug 2021, Sep 2021, Oct 2021, Nov 2021, Dec 2021, Jan 2022, Feb 2022, Mar 2022, Apr 2022, May 2022, Jun 2022, Jul 2022, Aug 2022, Sep 2022, Oct 2022, Nov 2022, Dec 2022, Jan 2023




It's far too early to suggest that the idling engines of global economic activity will all miraculously be re-energised by resurgent Chinese growth.

But there is no doubt that China has been the primary motor of global growth over the past three decades.

And the Sales Managers Index - always the first out each month - has frequently called correctly the speed and direction of Chinese economic activity in the past.



Headline Sales Managers Index: 49.4




Source: World Economics
Note: Data Shown as a Diffusion Index. (50 = 'No Change', above 50 = Increasing growth, below 50 = Declining growth)
0 0 0 India SMI Index|#0A66C2|51.7, 50.9, 53.3, 52.9, 51.6, 50.6, 50.6, 50.4, 51.1, 49.9, 50.8, 53.2, 52.5, 53.5, 54.4, 54.9, 54, 54.2, 55.4, 55.8, 54.5, 56, 56.5, 54.8, 55.6, 55.4, 56.6, 55.6, 55.3, 58, 59.6, 59.3, 59.6, 60.4, 60.4, 57, 53.9, 56.1, 55, 56.1, 55.9, 54.1, 53.7, 51.8, 53.5, 52.3, 51.9, 52.9, 52, 51.2, 47.9, 41.7, 34.6, 41.1, 44.1, 48.5, 50.7, 48.2, 48.9, 51.2, 51.5, 49.9, 51.5, 51.3, 52, 52.7, 54.9, 53.2, 52.4, 52.6, 54.5, 53.2, 53.5, 51.3, 49.5, 50.3, 51.4, 49, 49.6, 49.5, 50.6, 53, 51.4, 51.2, 49.2 Jan 2016, Feb 2016, Mar 2016, Apr 2016, May 2016, Jun 2016, Jul 2016, Aug 2016, Sep 2016, Oct 2016, Nov 2016, Dec 2016, Jan 2017, Feb 2017, Mar 2017, Apr 2017, May 2017, Jun 2017, Jul 2017, Aug 2017, Sep 2017, Oct 2017, Nov 2017, Dec 2017, Jan 2018, Feb 2018, Mar 2018, Apr 2018, May 2018, Jun 2018, Jul 2018, Aug 2018, Sep 2018, Oct 2018, Nov 2018, Dec 2018, Jan 2019, Feb 2019, Mar 2019, Apr 2019, May 2019, Jun 2019, Jul 2019, Aug 2019, Sep 2019, Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020, Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020, Nov 2020, Dec 2020, Jan 2021, Feb 2021, Mar 2021, Apr 2021, May 2021, Jun 2021, Jul 2021, Aug 2021, Sep 2021, Oct 2021, Nov 2021, Dec 2021, Jan 2022, Feb 2022, Mar 2022, Apr 2022, May 2022, Jun 2022, Jul 2022, Aug 2022, Sep 2022, Oct 2022, Nov 2022, Dec 2022, Jan 2023






Sales Managers Index Components



0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|60.5, 58.3, 57.9, 58.4, 59, 58.5, 57.2, 58.2, 58, 58.5, 59.5, 60.6, 59.3, 55.5, 56.4, 58.9, 57.6, 56.6, 56.5, 55.2, 55.9, 57.3, 57.7, 55.9, 58.6, 59.7, 60.2, 58.5, 58.5, 60, 59.1, 58, 58.3, 59.1, 58.4, 58.3, 53.7, 56, 56.9, 57.7, 58, 56.9, 56.4, 55.3, 56.8, 55.9, 54.9, 55.1, 55.2, 54, 53.2, 47.4, 43.2, 47.5, 49.6, 50.9, 50.4, 51.1, 51.7, 51.8, 52.6, 51.6, 52.7, 52.2, 52.8, 52.6, 53.7, 52.9, 52.6, 52.6, 53.3, 53.3, 53.6, 52.3, 53.5, 50.9, 51.1, 50.4, 50.3, 50.5, 50.9, 51.8, 52, 50.5, 50.3 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Business Confidence

50.3
January 2023
The Business Confidence Index decreased 0.2 index points in January to a 6 month low. The Index value fell from 50.5 in December to 50.3 in January.
The Business Confidence Index measures the level of optimism/pessimism among sales for future conditions.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes
0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|53.4, 54, 56.2, 55.6, 53.6, 53.5, 53.8, 53.1, 54.2, 54, 53.7, 52.9, 52.6, 54.7, 56.2, 57.4, 55.7, 56.9, 55.5, 55.8, 56, 55.9, 56, 57.2, 56.5, 56.2, 56.7, 56, 56.2, 56.4, 56.7, 56.1, 56.1, 55.4, 55.8, 56, 55.4, 54.6, 54.8, 54.7, 54.2, 53.6, 53, 52.3, 52.6, 52.3, 50.9, 50.3, 50.6, 49.1, 49.5, 43, 37.8, 42.1, 45.7, 48.3, 48.9, 49.3, 49.7, 50.5, 51.7, 51.2, 51.1, 51.2, 51.3, 51.2, 52.6, 52.7, 52.1, 51.8, 51.7, 51.6, 52.3, 50, 49.7, 48.6, 48.8, 49, 48.7, 49.2, 50, 50.2, 49.8, 48.1, 48.3 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Market Growth

48.3
January 2023
The Market Growth Index value increased 0.2 index points between December and January.
The Market Growth Index monitors the underlying growth of the market segments into which the panel members sell.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes
0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|56.2, 55.5, 57.7, 59.1, 59.4, 59, 60.7, 58, 59.6, 58.2, 59.1, 58.8, 58.8, 54.8, 56.1, 58.5, 58.7, 58.7, 56.1, 57.1, 57, 56.7, 56.6, 57.5, 58.2, 57.8, 59.1, 57.3, 57.8, 59, 59.9, 55.8, 56.7, 55.9, 55.4, 55.3, 55.9, 55, 54.4, 54.2, 54, 53.1, 54.6, 53.8, 53.7, 53.6, 52.1, 52.5, 52.2, 48.9, 50.9, 45.1, 38.7, 44.1, 46, 48.4, 51.2, 50.5, 51.1, 52.9, 53.7, 51.9, 53.1, 52.6, 51.8, 52.6, 54.2, 54.2, 53.5, 53.6, 53.5, 52.7, 52.8, 53.2, 53.5, 51.4, 51.8, 50.7, 49.6, 50.5, 51.5, 52.1, 51.7, 50.7, 50.3 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Sales Growth

50.7
January 2023
Global sales Growth slowed to a 6 month low in January, down 0.4 index points.
The Sales Growth Index defines the speed and direction of overall sales of goods and services made by business during the month.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes
0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|49.4, 48, 50.7, 50.9, 50.6, 49.9, 50.2, 49.9, 50.6, 50.5, 51.1, 52.4, 52.1, 52.1, 54.5, 56.9, 56.5, 54.9, 56.2, 54.4, 55, 54, 54, 53.8, 55.7, 53.7, 54.2, 52.8, 53.7, 54.4, 54.5, 55.1, 55.9, 55, 54.3, 55, 53.6, 52, 52.8, 53.4, 53.8, 53.3, 53.9, 54.6, 53.9, 55.3, 54.2, 53.7, 53.7, 52.7, 52.8, 49.3, 42.3, 44, 47.5, 51, 50.3, 51.2, 53.3, 53.3, 53.7, 51.5, 52, 52.1, 53.4, 54.2, 55, 54.3, 54.8, 55.2, 57.7, 55.6, 55, 54.5, 52.4, 52.9, 54.3, 54.6, 52.5, 51.8, 52.6, 52.5, 52.9, 51.2, 51.7 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Prices Charged

51.2
January 2023
The Prices Charged Index grew 0.5 index points from December to January.
The Prices Charged Index measures the speed and direction of changes in the current price of goods and services taking into account any discounts offered.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes
0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|52.2, 53.3, 53.1, 52.8, 52.4, 51.7, 52.2, 52.5, 52.6, 53.5, 53.4, 53.3, 53.3, 51.9, 52.8, 55.2, 54, 53.3, 51.8, 51.2, 52.1, 53.9, 53.8, 52.7, 53, 53.8, 54.7, 54, 54, 54.8, 55.1, 55.4, 54, 54.1, 55, 52.7, 50.9, 50.8, 50.9, 52.5, 51.8, 51, 50.2, 49.6, 50.6, 50.9, 50.5, 51.2, 50.6, 49.1, 48.2, 45.5, 35.6, 38.9, 41.7, 45.4, 47.4, 46.4, 47.4, 48.7, 47.8, 47.9, 50.1, 49.2, 48.9, 49.5, 51.8, 50.3, 50.3, 51.2, 51.2, 50.7, 49.6, 50.3, 49.9, 48.2, 49, 46.4, 47.4, 46.5, 46.2, 49.5, 49.1, 49.1, 48.5 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Staffing Levels

49.1
January 2023
The Staffing Levels Index fell further in January to a reading of 48.5 - a 4 month low.
The Staffing Levels Index monitors the level of growth or decline in employment against the same period a year earlier.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes
0 0 0 Global|#0A66C2|48.2, 48.5, 47, 48.9, 49.3, 49.8, 49.3, 48.6, 48.2, 50.9, 49.2, 50.7, 49.9, 51, 51.4, 49.8, 51.1, 51.6, 51.5, 51, 51.2, 51.7, 49.7, 51.8, 51.6, 51.9, 51.8, 51.4, 52, 51.4, 49.1, 50.2, 50.9, 48.3, 49.5, 49.9, 49.9, 49.5, 50.7, 49.4, 49.8, 49.6, 50, 49.6, 50.3, 49.6, 50.2, 50.1, 47.3, 45.7, 42, 35.4, 38.6, 39.7, 44.2, 45.2, 45.8, 47.4, 48.6, 46.3, 45.9, 46.6, 47.9, 48.8, 48.5, 50.1, 49.8, 47.7, 47.6, 49.4, 47.8, 48.9, 47.6, 50.9, 45.5, 48.1, 47.4, 45.4, 46.9, 47.6, 48.4, 48.5, 48.6, 47.5 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Profit Margins

47.5
January 2023
Profit Margins continued to fall at an increasing rate in January with an index value below the 50 'no growth' line.
The Profit Margins Index indicates gives insight into the level of profit sales teams are able to achieve and as a consequence the contribution companies can make to the country’s economy.
Find out more about SMI Diffusion Indexes




About the Sales Managers Indexes

The Sales Managers' Indexes provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of economic activity in key growth areas of the world.

The SMI’s (Sales Managers’ Indexes) are compiled and analysed by World Economics and are based on survey data collected from a panel of companies stratifying all Industry Classification Board (ICB) sectors which are weighted to reflect their contribution to national Gross Domestic Product.

Key advantages of the SMI's:

  • The SMI's provide the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth.
  • The SMI's provide the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI's are based on a key occupational group - sales executives - uniquely able to sense accurate changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI survey base - salespeople - are used by virtually all businesses, including in frontier markets, unlike other occupational groups.
  • The SMI's focus on the key countries contributing to over 60% of global growth in recent years.






About the Data

Global SMI data is published as diffusion indexes to gauge the speed and direction of economic activity.

Monthly data for 8 years is downloadable in a consistent unadjusted format for the 7 key indexes:











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